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Five Cryptocurrency Mining Operators In Samarahan Found Stealing Electricity Worth RM100,000 Per Month
Cryptocurrency Mining Premises Found Stealing Electricity Using Unsafe and Overloaded Wiring
2 SEPTEMBER 2020
Five cryptocurrency mining operators in Kota Samarahan were found stealing electricity in a recent joint operation between Sarawak Energy, the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) from Sarawak Ministry of Utilities and the Police. Located in five shophouses, the operators have been actively operating during the Movement Control Order period.
Unsafe wirings tapped directly from the main incoming supply without electricity meters were found at all the premises locked staircases. These staircases were covered totally with asbestos board to avoid detection.
“The wirings were connected directly to the premises’ distribution board without going through the electricity meters. These wirings were undersized and hanging loosely at the staircase. The unsafe wirings and installation can easily cause fire and electrocution to the occupants,” said the spokesman.
The raiding team entered the premises with search warrants from the court as efforts to contact the premise owners were unsuccessful. They also had to cut open the locked staircase to gain entry.
Actual load readings taken on site showed that all five premises were consuming at least RM100,000 worth of electricity per month.
A total of 200 cryptocurrency mining servers were found in all of the premises and these energy intensive machines are operating 24 hours daily. The premises were also equipped with ventilation fans to keep the machines from overheating. Egg trays were also used to dampen the noise from the server and these trays are prone to fire hazard when exposed to overheating.
All illegal connection were seized as evidence and five (5) police reports were lodged over the incident. The premise owners will also be called for statement to assist in investigation.
The success of this operation was made possible with the increasing public awareness over the dangers posed by the unsafe wirings used by electricity theft. These valuable tip offs have led to the discovery of fifteen (15) cases statewide since January this year and these cases are now pending prosecution by Sarawak State Attorney-General's Chambers.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the public for continuing to report suspicious activities in their neighbourhood. These information have contributed to many of our success,” said the spokesman.
Stealing electricity is a criminal offence under Section 33 (5) of the Sarawak Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment. Illegal connection is not only prohibited, but it also poses dangers such as electrocution, fire and damages to the electrical appliances.
Customers are reminded not to trust any service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or allow premises owners to enjoy unlimited usage of electricity. Landlords are advised to ensure that their tenants do not tamper with their electricity meter to avoid unnecessary prosecution upon themselves.
Sarawak Energy is mandated to recover the loss of revenue resulting from this illegal activity and will actively carry out meter inspection throughout the state while working together with the Ministry of Utilities and the police to curb this dangerous crime.
The public is encouraged to report any suspicious activity to Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All information obtained will be kept strictly confidential.
The raiding team cutting the premise padlock at the front staircase
The raiding team had to cut open the covered staircase entrance to gain entry to the premises.
Photograph at the staircase shown that the business operators stealing the electricity from the incoming cable poses safety risk
Another photograph showing that the illegal wiring connected from the main incoming cables to the premise at the second floor.
Photograph of illegal connection at the staircase any without electricity meters
Non-standard and unsafe wiring at the distribution switch board
Hundreds of cryptocurrency mining servers found inside the premises
Several other mining servers found at the premises
Ventilation fans to keep the servers from overheating and the egg trays used to dampen the noise from the servers operating 24 hours.